Re: Question on Design of your Common House
From: Nancy Baumeister (
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2011 22:16:16 -0800 (PST)
On 2/28/2011 6:09 PM, Janet Hesselberth Pelletier wrote:
Hi All,
Here at Three Groves Ecovillage, we are gearing up for our Design Charettes
with the architects. We have very carefully documented what we think we need
for housing and the Common House, but we'd like some input from you on the
Common House. Any input you have would be greatly appreciated, but in
particular, we'd like to hear:

1. How many homes are in your community and how many people live there? (To
give us a baseline on size.)
34 homes and 70 people (55 adults and 15 kids).
2. How many guest rooms are in your Common House? Do they get used
frequently or do they stay empty?
One guest room and it is in use frequently.
3. What is the best part of your Common House?
The best part is the large open kitchen and dining room which is big enough for dances, talks, and spreading out to can veggies. Last weekend we had a madrigal feast with singing and costumes skits.

Second best is a living room with a wood stove that can get the room really hot.
4. What do you wish you had done differently in your Common House? (Space
that is under-utilized, features that were not needed or that you wish you
had, etc.)
I wish there was a back exit from the kitchen to the entrance hall. There is a back door to the pantry that goes to the out of doors and to get to the entrance hall you have to go all the way around the building. Otherwise the only way toget back to the entranceway from the kitchen out of the kitchen is through the dining hall and when we really fill it up with chairs it is difficult/awkward/disruptive to move between the kitchen and the entrance hall.. . It means that it is harder for cooking type activities to operate in the background. It makes transition between food/potluck activity to speaker activity slightly more difficult. And we have a back door that we don't use. I think the original thought was that it would be for food deliveries since it enters the kitchen through the pantry. In fact it is almost never used.

You can see drawings at go down to commonhouse drawing.

Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom.

Janet H. Pelletier
Three Groves Ecovillage
Building a Green Community Together.
West Grove, PA
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